Reuters – Delek in Talks on Phoenix Stake

Israeli conglomerate Delek Group is examining the sale of its stake in The Phoenix Holdings insurance group in the wake of a government decision to break up some of the country’s biggest conglomerates, Reuters reported Thursday. Reuters wrote that buyout shop KKR was among those interested in the stake.

(Reuters) – Israeli conglomerate Delek Group is examining the sale of its stake in The Phoenix Holdings insurance group in the wake of a government decision to break up some of the country’s biggest conglomerates.

“Meetings are being held with entities interested in buying the company’s stake, including the international fund KKR ,” Delek said on Thursday.

In April, the government approved a plan to break up large conglomerates, aiming to increase competition and bring down prices after protests over the cost of living last year.

The measures will require conglomerates to choose between owning major financial or non-financial companies.

Besides Phoenix and brokerage Excellence Nessuah, Delek also has a substantial fuel business, including stakes in a number of offshore natural gas fields.

Phoenix, Israel’s fourth-largest insurer, has a market value of 1.9 billion shekels ($494 million). According to the Calcalist financial news website, Delek is seeking 1.5-1.8 billion shekels for its 54.8 percent stake in Phoenix.

Senior officials from private equity firm KKR were in Israel this month to meet top executives at Delek and Phoenix, Calcalist said.